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Visiting Edinburgh(14 Posts)
Hoping to take a trip to Edinburgh this Easter with DH & 2DC (9&5). Kids want to visit the Zoo, any suggestions for other things to see or do that might appeal to them?
We’d be travelling up by train so would need to be accessible by public transport.
Would we be able to do it all in say 2 nights/3 days or would we need a little longer?
I'd stay for three nights.
I'd recommend going on a Cadies and Witcheries tour on the first evening.
Camera Obscura and Real Mary King are both two hour activities and are very near each other. Could do them in the same afternoon, perhaps after having been to the Castle in the morning.
I'd allow two hours for Arthur's Seat (see this blog for now to climb it with kids www.mamasmiles.com/climbing-arthurs-seat/). This could be combined with a trip to the excellent Dynamic Earth attraction, for which I'd allow another hour at least. I'd probably do this on your last morning.
Edinburgh Dungeon and the zoo (with a pair of giant pandas on loan from China) could be done together on a full day.
Definitely eat at Coro the chocolate cafe which has two locations in Edinburgh. It has an incredible (and endless) menu of both sweet and savoury crepes, pancakes and waffles. Or you can make your own from a massive list of toppings and sauces. They also do some epic chocolate fondues. The prices are excellent; it cost me less than £5 for a brie, spinach and tomato crepe with side salad.
Camera Obscura is a must, so much better than we thought it was going to be. My DCs loved it, youngest is 8.
Every time we go for 2 nights I always wish we had longer, there is so much to do.
In addition to what Rice said, if they like Harry Potter there's free tours from the Royal Mile.
Museum is great, even for small kids - my toddler loves it.
I would add Museum of Scotland to the list. My nephews & niece love it there and its a great refuge if the weather isn't great. Depending how long you are here, you could jump on the bus to Portobello and go to the beach. Edinburgh has a good bus service.
Another recommendation for the Museum of Scotland. Free entry and lots of interactive/play aspects to keep children interested.
Camera obscure is fun.
Take them to Mary’s milk bar for an ice cream. It’s the best in the UK in my opinion.
Definitely museum of Scotland and dynamic earth, i would actually say Edinburgh dungeon is too scary for a 5 year old, it depends on your children obviously but to be honest I would have been petrified in there at 9 too!!
The lion king is on at the playhouse too.
I too was going to suggest the museum of Scotland. Free and SO much to see and do. I went back the next day too!
If travelling my train, look into the 'two together' travel card. We bought one last year travelling from London to Edinburgh. It cost £30, but gives you 30% off train tickets when you and the other person on your card (your OH) travel together off peak. Overall on that trip we save £30, but have used it several times since for other train travel for days out and it lasts a year. Check though, as they might have a family saving ticket instead?
I wouldn't take kids that young to the dungeons unless they are quite hardened - i went to the one in York with cubs once and half of them had to be escorted out they were so terrified! I've also not sure that a 5year old will make it up Arthur's Seat. Calton Hill is an easier walk if you want to feel like you've conquered something and the views from the top are great.
Definitely the National Museum (it's free so you've nothing to lose!) and I'd probably do one of Camera Obscura or Dynamic Earth.
The castle and Holyrood Palace are possibly a bit heavy on the history for kids.
There's a big play area at the east side of the Meadows and also a smaller one at the west end of Princes Street gardens if they need to let off some steam. Portobello prom / beach if it's nice weather. That also has a couple of playareas and a traditional amusements arcade.
The "train bridge" behind the bandstand in Princes St gardens is usually a hit with kids. I thought they'd grow out of it once they weren't toddlers but my friend's kids still love it. It's got clear sides so you can wave to all the trains coming in and out of Waverley and if you're lucky the drivers toot their horn for you.
I don't know where you're coming from but my friend's kids are happy with a ride on a double decker bus as it's a novelty for them (country bumpkins!).
There's a big soft play or swimming at the Royal Commonwealth Pool and the older one might like the "Aquadash" inflatable obstacle course there.
www.lothianbuses.com note that whilst you can now pay with contactless cards it is only available on adult fares so for a family ticket you'd need the correct change.
Another vote for Dynamic Earth. They take you “back through time” to watch the creation of the universe, put you in an earthquake zone where the room actually shakes under your feet, give you a 3D “flight” and crash landing, where it snows on you and a rhino charges at you - it’s brilliant fun, and hugely educational about biospheres, the environment, astronomy etc.
Please don’t take kids to the Edinburgh Dungeon. I made the mistake of going with mine, and found a revolting museum of torture, and a dissection of a “corpse” that sprayed the audience with supposed decomposing body fluids.
I suppose some adults might have been amused, but I found it totally distasteful (and I’m a doctor!).
You might also like the Real Mary King’s Close, on the Royal Mile. It’s a street that was built over then rediscovered, dating back to the time of the plague, and the tour guide brings to life the amazing history, the insanitary living conditions, a couple of murders, and a haunting - it’s fascinating.
Thankyou so much for all the suggestions, lots for me to look into
I think we’ll pass on the dungeons - I’ve been to the one at York and if it’s anything like that it’ll terrify both kids!
Can anyone tell me if it’s easy to get to the zoo by public transport? Many thanks
The 11,26, 33 and the airport bus all go from Haymarket right past the zoo door.